In the dog days of summer, Washington D.C. is in the hottest place on earth.
This morning the Supreme Court issued their ruling upholding the major points of the Affordable Healthcare Act. (read the ruling, keep up with the New York Times live blog if your heart can handle it.)
By the end of the day both sides will claim victory. Both presidential candidates will make statements. Polls will be taken. Extremists will parade in front of cameras.
God bless America. (Said in a cynical tone.)
Here’s the deal. This isn’t the America I want to live in. This isn’t the America I want my kids dreaming about. This isn’t the America I read about in history books and biographies. United we stand, divided we fall.
Until we decide to unite, we are falling. It’s not the economies fault. It our fault. When we decide we, the people, will move forward. But right now we are stuck in inward-focused circles of bandaid application.
That said, I’m thankful that the courts are stepping in, pulling away from the politics far enough to help us move forward. I actually see today as an amazing day for those with aspirational goals in the legal field. (With the Jerry Sandusky decision last week it’s been a very big 7 days for the courts.) I am intrigued that Bush’s choice for Chief Justice sided with more liberal appointees. I think it shows the strength of Bush’s choice.
I’m tired of the divisions. I’ve got no pride or allegiance to a party. It’s not that I’m unwilling. It’s that I’m bored of it. Division doesn’t get me nearly as excited as forward progress.
I’m not naive. I know politics are brutal. But I don’t think our future as a nation lies in having elected officials stand opposed on everything just for the sake of standing opposed to every view. In this case the irony is really delicious. Obama passed a version of Romney’s law. So Republicans loved it when the conservative governor passed the law in a liberal state. But when the President passed Romney’s law at the federal level it became a liberal against conservative thing. Romney, the original author of the bill, had to stand opposed to his own idea for the sake of winning his parties nomination.
Republicans were for the Affordable Healthcare Act until Democrats were for it. Then they stumbled all over themselves throughout the primaries trying to convince everyone they were against it, and were always against it, even when they were for it in Massachusetts.
That’s what I mean. We need to stop disagreeing simply for the sake of disagreement. We, the people, aren’t stupid. We hold this truth to be self-evident: Politicians will say whatever it takes to get lobbyists to write them checks.
But this check of disagreement is being cashed by people like you and me. Both parties are guilty for the game is no longer Republicans vs. Democrats, but rich vs. poor. National politics has become the rich man’s WWE where both parties put on a show for the sake of getting the redneck’s inside the belt to write them checks.
Again, this isn’t my dream for our country. This isn’t the dream I want my children to aspire to.
I want my kids to see that two people who disagree can come together and make a joint decision for the good of others. Just like mom and dad make compromise after compromise for the sake of our family, I want them to know that compromise is a virtue.
This carries over directly to our faith, doesn’t it? I love that my kids are growing up in a home where mom and dad try to hold loosely to their personal convictions for the sake of the body of Christ. How pathetic would the Gospel be if we only worshipped with people we got along with? How pathetic would it be to only hang out with, be influenced by, and study things from a single perspective. Yes, we are conservative evangelicals. That’s who we are. But we make the conscious, hopeful choice to identify ourselves with Christ more than we identify ourselves with a theological heritage.
For the record: I’m in favor of a nationalized health care system. I’d like to see it illegal for drug companies to market to the public. And I think all insurance companies should be not-for-profit, like the BlueCross system started as in the 1960s. So I’m not pumped about the decision today because I feel like it’s not the reform that is truly needed.
Photo credit: Tosh at SCOTUS by Mark Trimble via Flickr (Creative Commons)